Peep This Joint: Top 5 Rap/RnB Albums of the Year

As the year winds down, it’s time to look back at all the outstanding albums that released this year!

Reflecting on the 2019 year’s lineup, it’s clear to see the lineup is stacked. From memorable debuts such as YBN Cordae’s The Lost Boy to disappointing releases like Chance’s The Big Day and Kanye’s Jesus is King.

Nevertheless, a wide range of artists from all sides of the rap spectrum released music this year as we’ve seen with the dynamic Atlanta duo EarthGang releasing their debut, Mirrorland to the surprising posthumous project, One Of The Best Yet by legendary rap group Gangstarr. 

With not only the year but the decade coming to a close, I felt that it was right to go over what I personally think are the top releases this year for rap and R&B. It was a hard decision to whittle down my favorites to only five, but these are the albums I felt deserve some noise:

YBN Cordae – The Lost Boy

Cover from: Stereogum

This album is a phenomenal debut for the young, up-and-coming rapper hailing from Maryland. He initially blew up through a remix of J-Cole’s “1985” that circulated the web and moved its way to the charts. From then on, things have only been going up for the young rapper as shown with his song “RNP,” featuring Anderson .Paak being produced and co-written by J-Cole himself just a year later. The lyrics and production in this project are nothing but top-tier so this definitely deserves to be in the top five of the year.

Tyler, the Creator – IGOR

Cover from: Twitter

Many wondered what direction Tyler would take for his album after the release of Flower Boy, which received both widespread critical and public acclaim. What resulted was the release of IGOR, which Tyler proudly proclaims is all self-written, produced and arranged. The rave reviews of Flower Boy led Tyler to tap into his creativity to create a unique album that sonically differs from his past discography. Exploring the journey of a love triangle, Tyler paints the emotional struggles experienced throughout the album. If you ask me, this project would be the number one release of the year.

Summer Walker – Over It

Cover from: Hypebae

Another stellar debut project that dropped this year was Over It by R&B singer Summer Walker. Dropping in October, this album proved to be a hit as it broke records by becoming the most-streamed album by an R&B female artist ever during its first week. After getting her song, “Girls Need Love” remixed by Drake, her popularity instantly skyrocketed. Her sultry vocals paired with the slow-groove production made this album a top contender for best R&B album of the year. 

Anderson .Paak – Ventura

Cover from: Consequence of Sound

Anderson .Paak came through this year with the release of his album, Ventura. This album came out just a year after the release of his fourth album Oxnard, which received some criticism for his rap-centric approach. It didn’t seem to bother him though as he came out strong this year with Ventura just 5 months after Oxnard’s release. Returning back to the soulful roots with this album, Paak recovered gracefully with this “return to form” album.

Gangstarr – One Of The Best Yet

Cover from: HipHopDx

One Of The Best Yet marks the end of the 16 year hiatus of legendary rap duo Gangstarr, which consists of rapper Guru and producer DJ Premier. The death of Guru back in 2006 resulted in DJ Premier losing access to all of his old verses until recently through legal action. Fortunately, once DJ Premier recovered his partner’s forgotten and unreleased material, he was able to make magic and produce beats that ultimately culminated into the album. One of my favorite aspects of this album was the fact that Guru’s verses have a timeless element since they are very relevant in today’s rap climate. Overall, this is a classic sounding album reminiscent of the 90s that sounds like a treat for backpackers. If you’re a fan of hard-hitting lyrics, this is the top release of the year for that category. 

With so many hard-hitting releases this year, there’s a lot of content to listen to in order to keep up. Hopefully, this list gives you some ideas or suggestions on what projects to catch up on. Peep these joints out!

Written by: Johann Oribello

SDSU Wins Old Oil Can 17-7 Over Fresno State Bulldogs

Fresno State traveled down California to obtain the “Old Oil Can” trophy, but the Aztecs weren’t having it. 

If you took San Diego State University -1 and the under, congratulations. SDSU won 17-7 on Friday. 

As usual, SDSU was stout defensively. The Aztecs held the Bulldogs to only 70 rushing yards and only allowed them to convert 13 first downs. In fact, the Bulldogs were a porous 3-12 on third down (25%).

“We deserved to win the game,” Head coach Rocky Long said, “It’s a really very good win for our team, program and puts us one step closer to where we want to be.”

SDSU controlled the ball for 12 minutes longer than Fresno State did, and ran 30 more plays. 

“If you keep their offense off the field, they cant score points.” Senior quarterback Ryan Agnew said. “We have to get more points on the board so then the defense isn’t stressing.”

However, the Bulldogs claimed an early lead. Running back Ronnie Rivers was able to find the end zone and give Fresno State a 7-0 lead.

A big interception by SDSU’s Tariq Thompson set up the Aztecs inside the Fresno State 25-yard line. Two plays later, the Aztecs benefitted from a defensive pass interference and Chase Jasmin scored from the two yard line to tie the game. 

The Aztecs’ defense remained the story, as junior Luq Barcoo intercepted the Bulldogs. The junior college product has seven interceptions this season, which is tied for second in the nation. 

“We make it a competition of us getting plays,” Barcoo said, “So it’s kinda cool to see other guys make those plays and we’re just trying to make those plays.”

Meanwhile, SDSU has 85 interceptions since the start of the 2015 campaign, which is most in the entire nation during that span.

Safety Dwayne Johnson Jr. made it known he’s currently in last place for the team’s friendly competition.

“I got to get one, I got to get one.” Johnson Jr said, I’m in last place right now, but we’re always trying to make to plays to help us win.”

The Aztecs ran into some bad luck toward the end of half one. Senior quarterback Ryan Agnew was intercepted by Fresno State, but the Aztecs defense held tight and forced a Bulldogs punt.

Not too much later, Agnew found tight end Parker Houston for what looked like a touchdown, but it was overturned and SDSU settled for three points.

Right before the first half ended, the Aztecs had a field goal blocked, which kept the lead 10-7 at halftime. 

The Aztecs were marching to start the third quarter, but Chance Bell fumbled inside the three-yard line, which gave the Bulldogs possession again. It was the first time the Aztecs lost a fumble this season; the score remained 10-7.

At the very beginning of the fourth quarter, the Aztecs decided to go for it on fourth down from the Bulldogs two-yard line.

Agnew rolled out of the pocket and found Jasmine for an easy touchdown, which pushed their lead to 10. It was the first time Jasmine scored multiple touchdowns in one game.

The senior quarterback finished with a career high in completions (33) and passing yards (323). He finished with a quarterback rating of 130.7.

After the Bulldogs found some momentum halfway through the fourth quarter, they had a touchdown called back, then Barcoo intercepted Jorge Reyna once again to seal the deal.

It was the third turnover the Aztecs caused on Friday, they are 22-0 when forcing three or more turnovers. 

“This year we’re doing a much better job of taking the ball away,” Long said

The Aztecs are now (8-2; 5-2 Mountain West). They travel to Hawaii next week, kickoff will be 3 p.m. PST. 

Written by: Daniel Farr

Breven’s Blog: MLB All-Star Snubs

The 2019 MLB All-Star starters and reserves were announced this past week for the annual Midsummer Classic. Every year, there are those that do not get in, but deserved to. They are called snubs.

Typically, there are a few snubs, but this year, there was an unprecedented amount. And they affected more than just the San Diego Padres. The Padres’ closer Kirby Yates, who has an MLB-leading 27 saves (entering July 1), was the only one who made the team. This means no Fernando Tatis Jr., no Manny Machado, no Eric Hosmer and no Hunter Renfroe.

Even if Fernando Tatis Jr. missed a month due to injury, he changes the hometown team from good to great. He does it all. Speed. Strength. Power. Awareness. Energy. The energy that he brings to his teammates, his coaches, the fans and to this organization is electrifying and attracts people to watching him and this team play. Even MLB Network Insider Ken Rosenthal said Tatis Jr. is an All Star, while CBS Sports has called him “special.”

In his first year, Tatis already has a 3.0 Wins Above Replacement (WAR), has scored from third base on a fly ball to the second baseman and scored from first on a single to right, and he became the first rookie shortstop since Nomar Garciaparra to record ten home runs and ten stolen bases before the All-Star Break. These are remarkable achievements in baseball, and it is unfortunate that his talent (including the other Padres that did not return) cannot be seen to the rest of the sport.   

Throughout MLB, there were snubs all across the league.  

In the National League, one of the biggest names besides Machado to not make the team is Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper, who signed a 330 million dollar contract this past winter. 

There is also Los Angeles Dodgers’ infielder Max Muncy, who hit a walk-off homerun in Game 3 of last year’s World Series. Muncy is tied sixth in the NL in WAR and 18 of the top 21 position players made the roster. 

Furthermore, Milwaukee Brewers’ starting pitcher Brandon Woodruff did not make the team and his numbers are one of the best so far in 2019. Woodruff leads the National League in wins with ten and is also in the top spot in WHIP (Walks plus hits divided by innings pitched) with a whopping 1.14. 

The American League is much of the same, whether a team is in a big-market city or not. 

That includes the New York Yankees. First Baseman Luke Voit, who suffered an abdominal injury last weekend during the London Series, was one of the biggest snubs on the American League side. Voit was outlasted by Chicago White Sox’s Jose Abreu and Seattle Mariners’ Dan Vogelbach. What makes this surprising from this is that Abreu is one of three White Sox (pitcher Lucas Giolito and catcher James McCann) to make the team, despite only having a 39-42 record. 

A couple other snubs comes at the shortstop position with Boston Red Sox’s Xander Bogaerts and Yankees’ Gleyber Torres. Both players are hitting over .290, getting on base more than 36% of the time and slugging at least 54%. Torres, along with Voit, were playing and not one to get hurt, like most of their teammates.  

The Minnesota Twins, one of baseball’s surprises in 2019 with a 53-30 record have two All-Stars.  

That was starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi and shortstop Jorge Polanco. However, a couple others from the team had the potential to also be on the team. One of those is outfielder Max Kepler. He already has a career-high 21 home runs. 

It is surprising that the Twins, who are in first place of the AL Central by eight games to the Cleveland Indians, the host team, and 13 games to the Chicago White Sox, only have two players going, but the Indians and White Sox each have three members.  

Even though the reserves were announced this past Sunday, players that had already received the invitation, have the option to decline and not participate in the game for any reason (injury, personal, etc.). Most likely, a couple of players from each side will back out opening it up for some of these players to make a dream turn to reality and be a part of a showcase with the game’s best players. 

Written by: Breven Honda

Weekly Watchlist: Week 6

Weekly Watchlist: Week 6. Unfortunately, finals week took its toll and took my time away from films this time around as I had to study for once.

We have a good mixture of oldies and modern films in this batch, though not that many in quantity. This summer I plan on watching around 200 movies before I have to go back into regular school year. Yeehaw, au revoir this is my last article of the semester and maybe for a while now as I am taking on new responsibilities as the new Video Director of this fine website/organization.

So here’s what I watched this time around.

Monday (4.29.19)

Boyz n the Hood (1991) – 4.5/5

  • Rip John Singleton: dude made this when he was 23. This movie is good and real af n I’m mad I haven’t seen it before. Quote of the decade: “They either don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care about the hood”

Tuesday (4.30.19)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – 4/5

  • Planet of the Apes + Gravity + Star Wars – any logic + awesome lighting & set design + interesting mixture of cinematography styles – any more logic that remained + a huge baby = this movie

Guava Island (2019) – 3.5/5

  • Really big fan of the cinematography; it looks really beautiful and I’m glad they shot it on film,., BUT,.,., this is basically a super long music video with a cool animated intro. Rihanna’s talent is hugely wasted and the story/plot doesn’t entirely work that well; I wish I liked this more

Madeline’s Madeline (2018) – 4/5

  • Everything about this is wow; the cinematography flirts with a documentary style of filming at times. The plot is great and the acting is phenomenal. Lots more I could say but hard to put into words really.

Saturday (5.4.19)

Avengers: Endgame (2019) – 4/5

  • A second viewing I went to with my friend who hadn’t seen it. Glad I saw it though cuz I was able to catch more jokes and step back to analyze the cinematography/visual aspects more.

Tuesday (5.7.19)

The Last Summer (2019) – 1/5

  • Only watched this because my girlfriend had it playing as I woke up. Sad to see that Netflix is spending money on s**t like this. Overall: dumb, fake, & a waste of time.

Saturday (5.11.19)

Whiplash (2014) – 4.5/5

  • I don’t remember the last time I got so emotionally invested into a movie; very nice cinematography, extremely tight framing & extremely tight focus. The acting/directing is incredible w anxiety ridden writing fueling the entire plot. A good movie to watch at 9am but gives me PTSD to when I played the drums

Whiplash (Short Film) (2013) – 4/5

  • I prob should’ve seen this before the feature-length film but I enjoyed it nonetheless; they basically took out one great scene from the feature and made that into a short (which is a great way to get a feature funded; its cool how they translated some of the exact same shots into the feature and kept some of the same actors but I’m very glad they replaced the dude who was eventually played by Miles Teller.

Badlands (1973) – 4.5/5

  • I love the colors in this a lot; the cinematography is simple and nice. This is an extremely impressive director debut: i like the story of people on the run tbh. This film is like bonnie n clyde except bonnie ain’t really feelin’ it; I’m a fan

Naked (1993) – 3.5/5

  • sex -fueled monologues for days in this film; David Thewlis’ character is a god of sarcasm in this. This has a rather nice score & an extremely interesting storyline that goes in every direction. The long takes mixed in with long monologues by Thewlis’ hobo-esque character is such an interesting combination that we see multiple times in this film; each time either ending in screaming or sex. Felt dragged on and annoying at times though, especially towards the end.

Thank you for reading along for this week; I hope these comments offer insight into your choice of what to watch and what to avoid.

I thank those who read along and hope that you watch as many movies as you possibly can; this way, people can become educated on cinema.